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Associate Director of Campaigns & Advocacy

Essie Justice Group

Essie Justice Group

Oakland, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2024

The Opportunity

Essie Justice Group (Essie) is building grassroots power to dismantle the US incarceration system, the most egregious creator of racial and gender injustice of our time. We are a loving and powerful community of women with incarcerated loved ones. Our community includes cisgender women, transgender women, formerly incarcerated women, gender nonconforming (GNC) people, elders, and young people.

After nine years of building an active membership across California and beyond, Essie is deepening its base-building and leadership development strategies with the 1 in 4 women with incarcerated loved ones to propel bold decarceration agendas across the nation. We seek to transform the criminal legal system and create a Black feminist future rooted in care, equity, community safety, and liberation. As our campaign work grows, we are seeking an experienced and politically-aligned Associate Director of Campaigns & Advocacy to build and lead strategic campaigns that are rooted in power analysis, serve to build and develop the leadership of our base, and transform systems of control and confinement.

The Associate Director of Campaigns & Advocacy is a collaborative leader committed to leveraging and enhancing the power of our members and staff to achieve concrete and transformative change. Goal-oriented and tuned in to the political landscape, the Associate Director of Campaigns & Advocacy wields their expertise, experience, and influence in focused ways that strengthen our members’ ability to move decision-makers to make policy that divests from the carceral state and invests in the care infrastructure our communities need. The ideal candidate for this role is a natural and enthusiastic systems-builder who is deeply familiar with the ebbs and flows of power-based campaigning work and skilled project manager who can discern between urgent and important needs and appropriately triage multiple incoming requests. The Associate Director of Campaigns & Advocacy also has the emotional intelligence to stay attuned to team morale and can press pause in a fast-paced work environment to coach team members when they encounter challenges.

Core Responsibilities

Department Leadership - In partnership with the Director of Member Strategy & Impact, strategically steward the department's resources in alignment with organizational and departmental priorities.

  • Collaborate with the Director of Member Strategy & Impact to define strategic priorities for the department and manage operational plan goals.
  • Support the development of departmental budgets.
  • Directly manage 2-3 staff members.
  • Lead special projects as needed.
  • Hold select external relationships with partners and/or coalitions as needed.
  • Embody and promote Essie’s Black Feminist culture and values internally and externally.
  • Approve expenses and reimbursements for department members and maintain strong intradepartmental financial stewardship.
  • Assist in the creation and facilitation of strategic team meeting agendas

Campaign Development

  • Develop and manage the execution of campaign plans that are rooted in strategic target research and power analysis, serve to build and develop the leadership of our base, include effective and powerful tactics that center women with incarcerated loved ones, and consider escalation in a thoughtful and strategic way
  • Apply Essie’s, Black feminist, abolitionist politic as a lens to define and approach campaign goals and strategy
  • Demonstrate strong campaign management skills, including how to prioritize between multiple campaign needs, analyze campaign metrics, make necessary strategic pivots, and organize stakeholders (members, staff, and partners) to achieve goals

Implementation & Systems-Building - Oversee the development and day-to-day operations of campaigns and manage internal coordination between campaigns, coalitions, members, and across other Essie Departments.

  • Facilitate and prepare for standing team meetings; design agendas so that team members stay coordinated as well as engaged in on-going learning and professional development within the department.
  • Create user-friendly team coordination tools, including tracking of key metrics, and support staff in fully adopting and utilizing them.
  • Stay abreast of on-the-ground needs and address barriers to moving work forward.
  • Contribute to cross-organizational alignment meetings and collaboration practices, particularly between Membership & Organizing Department, Communications & Partnerships Department, and Resources & Operations Department.
  • Coordinate closely with the Membership & Organizing team to facilitate membership decision-making processes such as the adoption of Essie’s position/stance on policy issues.

Knowledge Management & Staff Development - Ensure Campaigns & Advocacy staff and members have the training and support they need to execute power-based campaign plans successfully and as the department grows, codify best practices.

  • Lead and/or coordinate staff training to sharpen skills across the team in strategy development, facilitation, power-based campaigning and organizing, and create training curricula as needed.
  • Support subsequent hiring and onboarding of new department staff.
  • Observe and coach department staff and model best practices in meeting management and group facilitation as needed.

Who We’re Looking For

Ideal Qualifications

  • 6+ years experience in organizing and/or advocacy (e.g. issue and/or electoral campaigning, lobbying, and/or policy development and analysis) with a minimum of 3 years serving in a management role.
  • Demonstrated experience creating campaign plans that plan escalating tactics that exert pressure on decision-makers, and a demonstrated ability to make accurate and clear assessments and recommend next steps within a constantly changing political landscape.
  • Meaningful experience supervising full time staff in a way that acknowledges differentials in privilege and power, recognizes their gifts, encourages their confidence, supports their growth, and holds them accountable to standards.
  • Experience utilizing data-driven planning and monitoring to improve the operations of a campaign and/or organizing drive.
  • Experience supporting colleagues with direct experience of incarceration.
  • Track record as a collaborative leader who excels in managing multiple projects and is comfortable working in a fast-paced and non-traditional work environment.
  • Effective writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Adept with Mac operating systems, Google Suite, and MS Office Suite (especially Excel, PowerPoint, and Word)
  • Commitment to the beliefs and values of Essie with a demonstrated passion for progressive politics, specifically in gender justice, race justice, and ending mass incarceration.


  • Values people, process, and results. You care deeply about winning on the issues we work on because you understand the transformative impact it will have on people’s lives, so you strive for excellence in all you and your team do. While you push yourself to meet high standards, you also have the patience to attend to the human needs of the work that sometimes calls for adjustments to sustain a healthy work culture.
  • Politically astute. You routinely track the changing political dynamics and policy trends in our field, can skillfully assess windows of opportunity, and bring new ideas to strategic conversations that will result in impactful decarceration and criminal justice campaigns.
  • Discernment and honesty we can trust. You are a thoughtful team member who aligns with your integrity and is unfailingly trustworthy. You earn rather than demand the trust of people by listening and making decisions thoughtfully.
  • Committed to evolution. You are committed to continuously deepening and evolving your own understanding of systems of oppression through study, openness, and humility. And you easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power, examining and shifting your behaviors as appropriate.
  • Uplifting and additive. You see mistakes as opportunities for growth, problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along the journey. You carry a positive approach, a can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.

The Position

The Associate Director of Campaigns & Advocacy is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. This position is supervised by the Director of Member Strategy & Impact The salary for this position is between $100,000 - $110,000 depending on experience with full medical, dental, and vision benefits, optional 401(k), a substantial vacation package, and a monthly personal wellness stipend. The position is based in one of Essie’s offices in Oakland or Los Angeles, California. Essie has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy.

To Apply

Please address a personal, specific, and thoughtful cover letter to the “Essie Hiring Committee” and submit along with a resume through our hiring portal (https://essiejusticegroup.bamboohr.com/jobs). Your resume tells us what you can do; your cover letter should tell us who you are and why you want to work with Essie.

Essie Justice Group provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all staff members. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and skills. Essie does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, ancestry, age, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, prior conviction, arrest history, traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Essie values and specifically seeks applicants who are people with incarcerated loved ones; formerly incarcerated people; people of color; women; queer, transgender, gender nonconforming (GNC), and gender fluid people.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, performance assessment, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

About Essie Justice Group

Essie Justice Group is a non profit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration. Our award-winning Healing to Advocacy Model brings women together to heal, build collective power, and drive social change. Essie is Great Place to Work-Certified™ by Great Place to Work.

Learn more at www.essiejusticegroup.org.